Today we're helping Rena, who is postmenopausal and finds that with the hormonal shifts, everything smells different: top notes are becoming sharper, tenacity and sillage are increasing. She'd like us to help her find some (more) perfumes she can still wear. She has good access to perfume stores, and is happy to buy samples or decants. She's also happy to chase after vintage so long as the perfume is still reasonably easy to find. Her price limit is around $250. Here is what we know about Rena:
She's a massage therapist in her early 40s. Next year, she'll be starting acupuncture school.
She says she is generally cheerful, optimistic, easy going and down to earth.
Rena has wide-ranging tastes. Her chemistry seems to work best with scents that are lush, full, round and big. She'd be especially interested in suggestions for magnolia and honeysuckle. She can't wear anything fresh, sharp, green or aquatic, and she doesn't like baby or baby powder fragrances.
Here are some of the fragrances she owns or had on her "to buy" list, along with a few she has tried but didn't work for her:
Paul Smith London: screechingly unbearable.
Lostmarch Lann Ael: a bit bright.
Calypso Violette, The Different Company Osmanthus, Ormonde Jayne Ta'if, Guerlain Iris Ganache: all still workable.
The Different Company Bois d'Iris: she loved it so much she used up a whole bottle, but now it is a bit over sharp in the opening in a way that grates on her nerves
Bond no. 9 Chinatown: remains exactly the same (probably because it was already big and tenacious).
Bond no. 9 Andy Warhol Success is a Job in NY: now makes her eyes water for the first two hours but still has a lovely dry down.
Miller Harris Fleur Oriental: used to be nice, now incredibly skanky with huge sillage.
Lollia Relax: a recent purchase; honey vanilla floral yumminess.
And here is an abridged list of things she has tried or bought unsniffed over the past few months:
Chantecaille Kalimantan: the benzoin overdose makes her happy during grey dreary weather but it's a bit strong for her.
Parfums DelRae Panache: a magnificent magnolia that started her magnolia obsession.
Parfums DelRae Mythique: holy grail territory.
Parfums Delrae Amoureuse: lovely but maybe a tad too much tuberose.
Costume National 21: cozy honey fuzzy over leather.
Cartier L'Heure Convoitée: a true carnation; she doesn't love the cosmetic base but it takes about 14 hours for that to become prominent.
Donna Karan Black Cashmere: fabulous in small doses.
Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur: leather is too strong.
Profumi Del Forte By Night, White: too much sweet vanilla.
Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille: toasted marshmallow was good until coconut showed up.
Lubin Idole: nice but she doesn't want to smell like a mulled drink.
Demeter Honeysuckle: lovely but she wants something bolder.
Calypso Chevrefeuille: mostly bergamot and orange blossom, honeysuckle shows up after 8 hours. Not what she expected but she does like it.
What say you?